By Kosta Makrodimitris, PhD, CF-FDA, CP-EHR
MD-HIMSS chapter organized the 5th Annual Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) Day on Feb. 7, in Annapolis. The Maryland chapter is one of the largest across the country, with more than 1,400 members.
Joshua Sharfstein, MD, Maryland’s Secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, presented his vision on the importance of health IT in enabling health reform and supporting public health that presents a great opportunity for the elected officials and chapter members. “Maryland is at the forefront of the healthcare reform evolution and our innovation with HIT will help improve how Marylanders receive care,” he said.
The Maryland Chapter of HIMSS spent the day in Annapolis visiting Senators and Delegates to discuss the importance of supporting the transformation of healthcare through the use of health IT. The keynote address was delivered by Claudia Williams, Office of the National Coordinator’s Director of the Office of State and Community Programs, who shared the national vision on health IT innovation enabling health reform, offering many well received insights.
The HIT Day program began with a welcome from Chris Panagiotopoulos, President of the Maryland Chapter of HIMSS, and was moderated by Kathryn Whitmore and Steve Fox, Advocacy Committee Co-Chairs for the Maryland Chapter.
The discussion and panel of experts presented and discussed about patient portal technologies, personal health records, health information exchange and telemedicine services. The panel included expert perspectives from the following health IT leaders:
After the panel HIMSS members volunteered to advocate for health IT and HIMSS (state-designated HIE, telemedicine reimbursement, patient information security-privacy) efforts by meeting at the Maryland House Office Buildings with legislators and Legislative staff (Sen. Jim Rosapepe, delegates Joseline Pea-Melnyk, Ben Barnes, Barbara Frush and others). At the end we returned the legislative meeting forms and feedback to HIMSS committee for evaluation and to enter prize drawing.